So. Carolina Tightening Rules For SNAP Eligibility


After April 1st, eligibility requirements in SC revert back to standard time limit of 3 months out of 36 month period.     

Meet the requirements, or do what it takes to qualify for the exemptions?  Which do people choose?

WISTV reports:  South Carolina is tightening requirements for “Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents” (ABAWD) who receive food assistance under the SNAP program, according to DSS.   DSS defines an ABAWD as a person between the ages of 18 and 50 who has no dependents and is considered to be able-bodied.

 After April 1, 2016, DSS said ABAWDs receiving SNAP benefits will be limited to three months of SNAP benefits in a 36-month period unless the recipients can meet an ABAWD work requirement or an exemption.

According to the USDA website, the time limit on ABAWD’s has been part of the law since 1996, but many states had qualified for exemptions.  Some states still have waivers in place, but many places no longer qualify for time limit waivers, unless they have high unemployment or not enough jobs available.

Below are the REQUIREMENTS and the EXEMPTIONS, as found on the USDA website.

ABAWDs can only get SNAP for 3 months in a 3 year period if they do not meet certain special work requirements.  To be eligible beyond the time limit, an ABAWD must:

  • work at least 80 hours per month,
  • participate in qualifying education and training activities at least 80 hours per month, or
  • comply with a workfare program.

The time limit does not apply to people who are unable to work due to:

  • physical or mental health reasons,
  • pregnant,
  • care for a child or incapacitated family member, or
  • are exempt from the general work requirements.

An interesting statistic would be how many recipients comply with meeting the REQUIREMENTS, vs how many recipients quickly do what it takes to qualify for an EXEMPTION?

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